tv BBC World News America PBS July 29, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
>> this is "bbc world news america." as u.s. politicians face a deadline, but fallout stretches far beyond washington. >> we're almost out of time. we need to reach a compromise by tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time. >> a final farewell in norway one week after the attack. the country continues to mourn. five years after raul castro took over from his brother, some residents are reaping the benefit of reform.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. with the clock ticking down, all eyes are on capitol hill to see if a deal can be struck to avoid a government default this tuesday. the markets are expressing their displeasure and international pressure is increasing. speaker boehner is struggling to get his party in line to pass the bill before it is too late. >> after major concessions by the republican leadership, a bill looks likely to pass. rebellious conservatives have gotten what they want, an amendment that makes a balanced budget a constitutional requirement. the senate is certain to kill it. >> the experts say that we will be back in the midst of partisan wrangling and our economy will
be held prisoner by extremists. >> the continuing stalemate prompted further warnings from the president that congress is almost out of time. >> the power to solve this is in our hands. on a day when we have been reminded how fragile the economy is, this is one bird in we can lift ourselves. >> -- this is one burden we can lift ourselves. >> there was shock waves through the economy. wall street is already reeling from news that the economy only grew by 1.3% in the last quarter. the country is bracing itself for another weekend of political wrangling with little sign of a deal. that has prompted another question, without a will to
compromise, has congress become a dysfunctional government? for more on where the showdown goes from here, i am joined by republican senator john a. isaacson. >> delighted to be with you. >> your colleagues looks to pass a bill that will have no chance of success. many people watching this going on, it looks pretty dysfunctional, don't you think? >> it looks worse than it really is. when the house passes the bill this afternoon, this will contain some components that both sides agree on. it will have some that they don't agree on. what is happening is that various bills are passing with various pieces of the solution. we can reach a solution by the end of the week. we will not defaults on our debt. >> where is the compromise going to come from assuming that this
bill will not pass the senate? where'd you go from here? >> both democrats and republicans have agreed to about one trillion dollars in cuts initially and 1.8 trillion in time. that is negotiated. the issues that are still up for negotiated is how long to extend the debt ceiling for. the president would like to go past the election. there is also the long term plan in terms of how we get our hands around our debt and deficit. most of those details in terms of the structure are beginning to come in place. i am optimistic that we can make a deal. >> republican approach brings us back here in a couple of months. is that something you think is good for the economy? >> well, what is good for the economy and the markets that they need to understand that we have a 5.4 trillion dollar
problem. we are at a tipping point in terms of leverage. the world is at the same point. we need to start to the leverage over time. >> what do you think that of the polls and the rest of the world are making of this? is there a possibility that america's standing will be reduced internationally? >> there is concern. i had four african presidents for lunch yesterday at the council on foreign relations. there is concern about the apparent inability to make a deal. there is the confidence that america would not like to abdicate their position as the financial leader in the world. this congress will make a deal. we cannot abdicate our responsibilities to our people or abroad. >> thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you.
>> for more on the political wrangling still taking place and what this bodes for the future, i am joined by the host of the political talk show "roll-call." the center is confident a deal can be reached. do you agree? >> i agree. i think the republicans and democrats will get together. they will come together and say for the best interest of this country, we have to have a deal. we cannot default. >> assuming that the house passes a bill and assuming that the senate kills it, where is the compromise? >> unfortunately, this is a lot of wasted time. i'm understand why they have to do it. what will happen is that the senate majority leader along what senator mcconnell will sit down and pieced together or cherry pick some of the aspects of the bill and put it in the
senate bill and pass it. that is what will happen. probably on monday, even on tuesday morning. >> even if congress avoids defaults, there is likely to be a downgrade. what will this do to america's standing? >> i think it will diminish it. we have had a aaa standing when it comes to our credit. we're also 14 trillion dollars in debt. we have to get our arms around it. this might be a wake-up call not to four members of congress but for all americans. if you take a look at the philosophical argument, the tea party has won. there are no tax increases. from a philip glass and -- from a philosophical standpoint, you have to give the two party credit. >> what about the sense of a dysfunctional government? how did we get to the point
where it seems incapable of making any agreement or is this the new way of doing business? >> you have a lot of hardcore republicans that represent districts that they are safe and. you have a hard core left that is also in very safe districts. they feel like they don't have to compromise because what they're doing is for speaking directly to their constituency but they're not having a national conversation. the american people are figuring out how to balance their budget and make sacrifices. we cannot go on vacation, we cannot purchase the second car. we figure it out, how come the people in washington cannot figure it out? >> do you think that there will be at backlash in the election? do you at think that americans will say that moderate lawmakers will be the way forward? >> they will have to get something done because of a
possibly be a backlash including against barack obama. many independents and a lot of african-americans are very very upset with the president, including a lot of independents are upset with the republican party. what you have is a very dissatisfied electorate. >> thank you very much for joining us. >> to norway, with the first funeral has taken place for the victims of last friday's attacks. -- was an 18-year-old who had come to norway as a refugee in 1996. her funeral comes a week today after the attack. >> the coffin containing the body is brought out from church to be laid to rest.
her family, originally from iraq, mourning the loss of a daughter who had been a leading night in the muslim community. exactly a week ago, she was shot dead along with more than 50 others attending a youth camp. she dreamt of becoming a politician. so many friends and relatives came to the funeral that hundreds had to stand outside. >> she will be missed. she is an example to go into politics or follow dreams. she was well on her way of becoming a perfect perfect human being. >> this is the first of at least 76 funerals due to take place in the coming days. while people mourn here,
thousands of taking part in memorials held in the capital. members of the governing labor party gathered for an emotional reunion. the party was the target of both a tax. -- the party had been the target of those attacks. the prime minister said many of their finest young people were now dead. in unity, he said, we will manage to go on. as they mourned, the police took the man responsible for the atrocities, anders breivik, for a second round of questioning. so far, they have not found and the evidence he was part of a network of extremists, as he claims. so far, there is no sign his killing spree will deepen divisions within norwegian society. at today's funeral, christians
and muslims, immigrants and at norwegians side-by-side. >> and other news, the entire military command in turkey has quit including the army chief of staff. this follows reports of growing tensions with the islamist- routed government. the turkish military is the second-biggest in nato and analyst says that this new development will leave the armed forces in disarray. a report in the the crash of an air france plane has highlighted multiple errors made by the pilots. air france rejects the accusations. it was flying from rio the janeiro to paris when it plunged into the ocean killing everyone on board. tens of thousands of people packed into cairo's tahrir
square as the islamist leaders called for the first nationwide demonstration since the fall of president mubarak. this marks a growing rift in the protest movement. >> once again, protesters filled tahrir square to capacity. they packed into the center of cairo from early morning despite the heat. this crowd is different, many of the men are wearing beards and the white shifts of devout muslims. the women are almost all covered up. this was an islamist demonstration with a very clear message. this is the way they are showing they are a force to be reckoned with. they can turn out huge crowds. they would like to have their say in the future of each of. everyone here has a vision for the future of egypt. -- they would like to have their
say in the future of egypt. >> anything touches our religion, we will descend in the square. >> we want islamic government with sure real law according to the teachings of the profit. -- we want is on the government with -- >> no one knows how much support they have. today, they remind everyone that they want to have their say in egypt's future. >> in libya, tens of thousands of mourners took to the streets in benghazi to pay tribute to the slain military commander. >> a road at the center of an
epic struggle. a family home caught in the crossfire. shattered by bombs and bullets, jarred by fire its ruins are a testament to the ferocity of what happened here. this woman was born in this house. she had four brothers when this battle began. one was killed by colonel gaddafi's men. the other three are volunteer soldiers in the rebel army. for this family, there is anger and grief. >> she is strong. she does not have any words. she is sad. >> what they want is for colonel gaddafi to stand trial. this week, britain shifted its
position. they said that colonel gaddafi must leave power, he could stay on in the country if that is what the people want. look at what happened here. look at the scale of destruction. hundreds of people died in the battle for misrata and they cannot forget or forgive. what they want is justice. however much britain frowns on america on a quick settlement, it is difficult to imagine a solution that is acceptable for the government in tripoli and the people of misrata. the city is still under attack. a petrol depot struck by rockets this week, this is hardly conducive for peace talks. the truth is that misrata remains on a war footing, hundreds of its men are dug-in, stretching for miles along the latest from lines. they are a little bit more organized, better equipped, even if they cannot always see who they are firing at.
they plan to go all the way to tripoli. progress has been slower than britain and the west hoped-for. the fighting, not talking, that is the concentration. >> the rebels say they will not stop until they force gaddafi from power and out of libya. with nato's help, they have advanced but they lacked momentum. in britain, they might have no choice but to wait out a war with no clear end in sight. >> you are watching "bbc world news america." a year after devastating rains ravitch pakistan, we return to the hardest-hit region to see how people are coping in the aftermath. -- a year after devastating rains ravage pakistan. one country right and the heart of europe appears to be a new to the currency crisis.
switzerland's fanc is riding high and has become a safe haven for investors. >> this is a landscape that has attracted tourists for over a century. this year, visitors are staying on the ground. those that are here are counting their pennies. as the euro slides, the swiss franc rises and rises. foreign tourists find switzerland too expensive. meanwhile, the swiss are neglecting their on resorts in favor of a cheap holiday abroad. >> i am watching the situation with enormous concern. things have gotten worse. jobs and businesses are really in danger now and that is bad for our economy. >> the swiss franc is at an all- time high against the euro. a new study shows that a thousand hotels across the alps
are threatened with closure. >> there will be job cuts. there has already been. each of the hotels have had to cut back from jobs. >> swiss hotel owners are looking anxiously to the government for solutions but so far in vain. an attempt by the swiss national bank to slow down the rise of the franc simply resulted in the bank losing over $20 billion. while the crisis in the eurozone continues, the swiss franc will remain a safe haven and there is little that non-european union member switzerland has no say in the policy wings in brussels. >> they were the worst floods in pakistan's history and a year ago today, torrence were going
through villages and destroying everything in their path. nearly 2000 people were killed and nearly 2 million homes destroyed. many families are still struggling with little help from the authorities. we have our report from the northwest of pakistan, one of the worst affected areas. >> the rainy season is starting again. as harmless as the water looks now, this is filled with dread. this has brought back the memory of images like these from last year. the heaviest rains ever recorded wreaked havoc across pakistan. 20 million people were affected. this village was one of the first places that the floods struck. people here have no warning of the disaster that was coming. the villagers say a massive wall of water came through here from
that direction and hit the village and destroyed a lot of the houses and caused many deaths. a year on, they have not found all the bodies of those that were swept away. this woman managed to find her daughters but it took days. their bodies had been carried more than 3 kilometers away by the force of the waters. her family has been able to rebuild part of the house that was damaged which remains consumed by grief. my life was shattered, she says. without my two girls, living has no meaning anymore. >> in spite of a massive aid mobilization, people are still living in tents. for this family, they lost their home and in the desperation of saving themselves, they lost all their belongings. they have been trying to get
their lives back on track ever since. >> the last 8 we received was six months ago when we got some basic food rations. since then, we have relied on charity. whether it is through their grief or their homelessness or the loss of livelihood, millions are struggling to recover from last year's floods. the u.n. warns that they could be more vulnerable as the new season starts. >> now to cuba where this weekend marks five years since raul castro took over. at the time, many in the west believes that the system built by the leader would collapse without him at the helm. cuba remains the only communist- run country and western hemisphere.
reform is slowly taking hold. >> this is one as a new breed of cuban business owners. she opened a restaurant in what used to be her front room. now she has three employees working in the country and a thriving life of -- lunchtime business. >> five years ago, i never have thought -- i never would have thought i could do something like this. it was not possible. the dow castro had been to the's undisputed leader for half a century. -- fidel castro had been cuba's undisputed leader for half a country. revel castro launched the first major overhaul of the soviet- style economy. -- raul castro launched the
first major overhaul. first came the agricultural reforms. the land was leased to private companies to provide infrastructure and income. he listed a whole range of restrictions. cubans can purchased sell phones, computers, though the internet remains that the controlled. political reforms was not on the agenda at this year's long awaited communist party congress. instead, raul castro secured a move toward a mixed economy, including private property. change comes at a price, more than 1 million state workers are due to lose their jobs. by now, there are tens of thousands of small private
businesses like this one springing up all over the island. before long, people here will be allowed to buy and sell their homes and cars. the free market reforms in cuba, most of the economy will remain in state hands. as president, raul castro is trying to engineer a change. time might not be on his side. >> that brings us to the end of today's broadcast. you can get constant updates on our website at any time. for all of us here at "bbc world news america," thank you for watching and have a good weekend.
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